CHINA, Shanghai Mint cafeteria token set, (1950s)


CHINA, PRC, token set, no date (1950s), Obverse: VIV over value, respectively 1 fen, 5 fen, and 1 jiao, Reverse: denomination, rectangular, aluminum, respectively 14x18mm, 16x33mm, and 18x38mm, Shanghai mint cafeteria, 3 pcs, VF

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Mint facilities are always paranoid about workers smuggling the product out of the building. Often the use of money was banned in the facility, and not infrequently special tokens were made for the use of the workers.

A token is used like a coin but is not a coin. Rather, it stands for a coin without the value of the coin. Maybe its copper, but says its value is the same as a silver coin. Usually tokens were made privately, but sometimes governments got involved.

The word “exonumia” is used to describe all kinds of things that are “like” coins but are not coins.I wrote a blog post on that subject. Basic categories: 1. used like a coin but not issued by a national government, 2. looks like a coin but not made for spending, 3. other things that we are interested in.